5 Ideas to Get Your 2017 Digital Marketing Off to a Good Start

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The new year brings around resolutions – sleeping more, losing weight, joining a gym – but none are more important than planning for your Digital Marketing improvements!  Your website is your 24 hour a day sales person.  It never sleeps, is always ready to inform prospects, and provides an access point for leads and new orders.  However, it has likely gained weight and could use a good work out too! Not to mention your social media methodology, site metrics, and more.

Here are 5 ideas to get your 2017 Digital Marketing Plan off to a good start:

  1. Take some time and read your site – at least the top navigation pages of Home, Services, About Us.  Or take a look at your Google Analytics data to see what the most popular pages are and start there!  (Don’t have Google Analytics?  That could be the 6th idea to put that on your site!).

Does the content really represent what you do?  Or is it kind of wishy-washy marketing hubbub that is filled with glorious platitudes about how great you are, but not about what you can do for your customers?  Does it speak to your customer?  Would you read it to your customer out loud?  Do you know what you do after you read it?

If not, spend a little time and fix your message.  Think about why prospects should contact you, what you do, and you can do for them – speak clearly and in a language they understand.

(Hint:  Read it out loud yourself!)

  1. Do you advertise online?  Google AdWords, display advertising, remarketing, social media ads…have you looked at the campaigns in a while to see if the keywords are appropriate?  Do the ads encourage the right clicks?  Are you measuring conversions, form submissions and phone calls?

Understanding your return on investment (ROI) in your advertising can be difficult but that should not stop you from trying.  Again, utilizing Google Analytics as a common spot for data is helpful.  AdWords can be set up to track calls, some call tracking tools will deposit data in Analytics for more refined information, proper form setup to track submissions, and using Events for mobile clicks to call can let you know what is working.

  1. What does your website look like on your cellphone?  Actually…your prospective customer’s cellphone?  Mobile traffic to a website can range from 10% to > 50% based on industry and visitor tendencies.  Google Analytics can provide you information on how your site is visited.

If you are still making your prospects squint at the screen, pinch and expand your site pages, or you don’t have a click to call option on a good looking mobile page….you are definitely losing opportunities.  In most cases, a mobile update can mean a more complete site redesign, but maybe it is time to review how the site looks now that it is 2016.  Even if you don’t redesign from scratch, a similar design can be structured for a mobile-friendly “responsive” layout at reasonable costs.

As an added bonus, Google is beginning to create a mobile search strategy which benefits user-friendly mobile sites!  Don’t miss out!

  1. How else do people find your site?  Is your site “optimized” for search?  If you are a local business, is your Google + (now Google for Business) page up to date?  How about review sites and directories?  Search traffic can come into your site in many ways.  In highly competitive industries, sometimes it is smart to not go head to head for the “gold ring” of keywords, like “realtor” or “insurance agent”.  By adding content to your site over time that talks about different aspects of your business, you will naturally add new ways for people interested in finding you…to find you!

No one knows your business better than you!  But your value (and best use of your time) may not come from writing new content but from developing a “content plan”.  A writer in your organization (or outside source) can follow your Plan to craft new content and expand your website’s horizons.   Think about applications, features, customer needs, interesting sidelights and services you provide.  Add them to your site and watch your traffic grow.  Be sure your pages look good (add some images), are interesting and not copies of other pages, and include your phone number on every page!

  1. What do your social media profiles look like?  Depending on your business, some may be far more relevant than others.   You don’t need to be everywhere.  It’s nearly impossible to maintain more than a couple of outlets, and  results can be very difficult to measure.  So if you are just starting in the social media area, or re-starting a stalled earlier attempt, pick just one location.  Which one?  The one where your customers hang out!

Do B2B CEO’s bring on new service providers because of Facebook profiles?  Probably not, but they WILL look at your Linked In profile, image and business page.  Are you looking to reach soccer mom’s?  Then Linked In may not be the place, try Facebook and Instagram.  Do you keep publishing great information but not getting enough reads?  Twitter might just do the trick.

But, just because your picture is nice, the page looks good or you are pumping tweets, it doesn’t mean anyone is seeing it!  Build your network and grow over time.  Reach and connect with leaders, follow businesses or very active individuals, and mention others in your posts.  Giving others credit on social media is a great way to get their attention.

And don’t forget advertising.  Most portals have an advertising path for reaching those you are seeking to get in front of.  Actively promote, but be sure your audience is growing too.  Make your information valuable for them.

Make it a Better New Year – Start Now

The event of the New Year is not just on the calendar, it is a time when many businesses slow down and enable busy executives and business owners to reevaluate how they have done, and what they can do to improve.  Keep your list brief but concise, start with a lot of ideas and trim them later as resources and priorities become clearer.  A good start with fresh ideas can make for an exciting and more profitable new year!

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